What Steps Should You Take When Selling Your Home Privately?

by Maria Smith October 3, 2023

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Selling your home privately, also known as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction, can be a viable option for homeowners looking to maximize their profits and maintain control over the sales process. While it might seem daunting at first, selling your home privately can save you money on real estate agent commissions and allow you to have a more hands-on approach. However, it’s crucial to navigate this process carefully to ensure a successful sale. In this guide, we’ll explore the key steps you should take when selling your home privately.

  1. Preparing Your Home for Sale

Before you put your home on the market, it’s essential to prepare it thoroughly to make a positive impression on potential buyers. This stage involves:

a. Decluttering and Depersonalizing: Remove personal items and excessive clutter to help potential buyers envision themselves living in your home.

b. Home Repairs and Improvements: Address any necessary repairs and consider making minor improvements to increase your home’s appeal. This might include painting, fixing leaky faucets, or replacing outdated fixtures.



c. Professional Photography: Hire a professional photographer to capture high-quality images of your home. These images will be crucial for online listings and marketing materials.

d. Setting the Right Price: Research the local real estate market to determine a competitive and realistic asking price. Overpricing can deter potential buyers, while underpricing might result in lost profits.

  1. Marketing Your Property

Marketing plays a significant role in attracting potential buyers to your privately listed home. Here are some strategies to consider:

a. Create an Online Presence: Utilize real estate websites, social media platforms, and FSBO websites to create online listings with attractive photos and compelling descriptions.

b. Yard Signs: Place eye-catching “For Sale” signs in your yard to attract local buyers and passersby.

c. Hosting Open Houses: Schedule open houses to allow interested buyers to tour your home in person. Ensure the property is well-maintained and staged for these events.

d. Networking: Spread the word about your home sale within your social and professional networks. Referrals from friends, family, and colleagues can lead to potential buyers.

  1. Handling Inquiries and Negotiations

Once your property is on the market, you’ll likely start receiving inquiries from potential buyers. It’s essential to be responsive and professional during this phase:

a. Screen Potential Buyers: Verify the credentials and financial capability of potential buyers before showing your home. This can help avoid wasting time on unqualified buyers.

b. Show Your Home: Schedule showings and open houses at convenient times for both you and potential buyers. Be prepared to answer questions about the property and highlight its features.

c. Negotiate Offers: When you receive an offer, review it carefully and consider negotiating the terms. Be prepared to counteroffer or accept, depending on your goals and the buyer’s terms.

d. Legal and Financial Guidance: Consult with a real estate attorney or financial advisor to ensure that all legal aspects of the transaction, including contracts and disclosures, are handled correctly.

  1. Managing the Closing Process

As you move closer to finalizing the sale, you’ll need to navigate the closing process. Here are the key steps involved:

a. Home Inspection: Coordinate a home inspection to identify any potential issues. Be prepared to negotiate repairs or concessions based on the inspection report.

b. Appraisal: The buyer’s lender will typically require an appraisal to determine the property’s value. Ensure that your home is in good condition and that it meets the appraiser’s requirements.

c. Title and Escrow: Work with a title company or escrow agent to facilitate the transfer of ownership and ensure a smooth closing process.

d. Closing Costs: Be prepared to cover certain closing costs, such as title insurance, property taxes, and transfer fees. These costs can vary depending on your location and the terms of the sale.

  1. Post-Sale Considerations



After successfully selling home privately, there are a few final steps to take:

a. Moving Out: Plan your move-out carefully, ensuring you leave the property in the condition agreed upon in the contract. Coordinate with the buyer on the transfer of keys and access to the property.

b. Legal Obligations: Fulfill any legal obligations, such as providing the buyer with necessary disclosures and documents related to the sale.

c. Financial Implications: Consult with a tax advisor to understand the tax implications of the sale and any potential capital gains taxes you may owe.

d. Celebrate Your Success: Selling your home privately is a significant achievement. Take a moment to celebrate your success and enjoy the financial benefits of your sale.


Selling your home privately can be a rewarding endeavor, allowing you to retain control over the process and potentially save on agent commissions. However, it requires careful planning, marketing, and negotiation skills. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process successfully and achieve a successful sale while maximizing your profits. Remember that it’s crucial to seek professional guidance when needed, such as legal advice or financial consultations, to ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

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